The Court of Cassation rejected the prosecutor general’s appeal of the ‘Battle of the Camel’ verdict onWednesday morning, reported state-run Al-Ahram.
The verdict initially came from the Cairo Criminal Court last October, when the court acquitted 24 former regime figures of the killing of protesters in February 2011 in an attack dubbed the “Camel Battle”. The notorious incident witnessed assailants armed with sticks and mounted on horses and camels attacking crowds in Tahrir Square, leaving 11 dead and 1000 injured.
The riders were identified later as workers in the tourist sector who claimed that they were coerced and misled into clashes with the protesters. Two dozen members of the former ruling National Democratic Party were widely believed to have been implicated in the attacks, but the prosecution lacked sufficient evidence to convict them. The verdict was met with widespread criticism and large, violent protests.
The Court of Cassations decision was likely due to a failure on the part of the prosecution to submit the appeal in the proper time and format, said Khaled Bayoomi, a lawyer who has worked on several cases for revolutionary victims.
Official spokesperson for the general prosecution, Mostafa Dewidar, denied this, stating that the prosecution submitted the appeal according to all proper legal proceedings within the required timeframe.
Dewidar also stated that the court’s decision to reject their appeal is by no means the end of the case. The prosecution said it will continue its investigation into the matter and expects to release new evidence pertinent to the case soon.
Additional reporting by Luiz Sanchez and Maryam Ishani